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::: center home >> people >> visiting fellows, giora hon

Giora Hon
Department of Philosophy
University of Haifa
Acedemic Year 1995-96

August 2008
Giora Hon (University of Haifa)
Bernard R. Goldstein (University of Pittsburgh)
From Summetria to Symmetry: The Making of a Revolutionary Scientific Concept. Archimedes: New Studies in the History and Philosophy of Science and Technology, vol. 20. Dordrectht: Springer.

The concept of symmetry is inherent to modern science, and its evolution has a complex history that richly exemplifies the dynamics of scientific change. This study is based on primary sources, presented in context: the authors examine closely the trajectory of
the concept in the mathematical and scientific isciplines as well as its trajectory in art and architecture. Their main goal is to demonstrate that, despite the variety of usages in many different domains, there is a conceptual unity underlying the invocation of symmetry in the period from antiquity to the 1790s which is distinct from the scientific usages of this term that first emerged in France at the end of the 18th century. The key figure in revolutionizing the concept of symmetry is the mathematician, Adrien-Marie Legendre (1752– 1833). His achievements in solid geometry are contrasted with the views of the philosopher, Immanuel Kant (1724–1804), on the directionality of space.

The book will be attractive to those interested in the history of science, the philosophy of science, the nature of scientific revolutions and the making of concepts, the impact of aesthetic concepts on science, and the importance of science in French culture
in the 18th century.


Revised 9/16/08 - Copyright 2006